Writing is what makes this Norfolk teen unique

With a ready smile, he holds up a journal. “I have ten different story ideas in this book right now!”

Marlon McKay, who goes by Andrew, his middle name, graduated in June from Norview High School. A Norfolk native, he’s planning to attend Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall as a journalism major — but another of his passions, he said, is writing imaginative stories. He has been creating characters and worlds to write about, toting around notebooks and pens, for years. An easygoing 18-year-old with a sunny disposition, McKay says his imagination is his most unique quality.

The first story he remembers writing was about a boy who had secret magical powers. Over the years, McKay has stuck to fantasy, sometimes telling fantastical stories set in this world, and sometimes creating whole different universes to support a plot. He floats myriad ideas and plotlines around several central characters, who he describes as all a little reminiscent of himself.

“All of them just have a little tiny aspect of my personality,” McKay said. “Because they’re so close to me and my mind and personality, I usually write stories with them to relieve my stress.” Those characters haven’t remained static, either: “They’ve been growing and changing as I felt fit with the world.”

McKay’s writing isn’t the only quality that distinguishes him. “He has always been the caring one in the family,” his mother Karyn McKay said. She described a young child who wanted his Christmas or birthday gifts given to charity, and who was always ready to help others.

McKay says he is comfortable with the natural flow of things, and that he wouldn’t mind teaching between the book sales he wants to have.

“He just wants to do what he loves,” his mother said.